If You’re Teaching Writing about Africa. . .

. . .you might find this wry commentary by Binyavanga Wainaina interesting.  This piece was published in 2009 and maybe we–writers and readers–are well beyond this kind of thinking.  And maybe not. I have found the essay useful in class to remind all of us how easy it is to fall into facile stereotypical thinking about this culture, or for that matter, any culture. And for some of us it's summer and time for some material that is not read ...

Live Stream Through a Google Map

Did you know that in the same way that you can add a video to a Google slide, you can insert video into a Google Map? (and, of course, you can add a simple web link if the video you want is not on YouTube, but on another source.) Watch this video for a quick tutorial on how to create new maps on Google Maps, using the creation of a WW2 Key Events map as an example. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=54&v=rV6u1IQcvrM Live stream images combined with ...

Inquiry-based Learning

The MYP is all about inquiry-based learning but how much of it goes on in your diploma chemistry. 'I don't have enough time' is a commonly heard sentence in workshops. 'I can only just cover the content in the time I had, let alone fit in something extra'. Well, if you do it right, inquiry-based learning it should help you to gain a bit of time. First of all, I am sure many readers teach DP chemistry but not necessarily MYP science, so what ...

Good Ideas for Interactive Orals in the Literature Course (Part 1)

Thanks to the energy and inventiveness of two teachers at Sir Winston Churchill High School in Calgary, Alberta, Canada,  I'm happy to share this post and later, a second, with those of you who might be looking for some productive strategies to address the important matters of context and culture. As you will know, the success of the Reflective Statement (and its 3 marks) depends on students providing for their peers a substantial immersion in contextual and cultural matters related ...

The Richness of IB Global Connections

It's useful for us to remember that the Language A courses are taught in a whole panoply of languages with different critical approaches. Very often, in workshops that include teachers of the Language A programs working in a variety of languages, good ideas emerge that can be used by everyone.  Here is one that might enliven or deepen your approach to close reading, from Nataliya Tsetkova: A proposal for work with close reading from Nataliya Tsetkova, teacher of the Russian A Literature ...

Planning Your Digital Afterlife

Do you own a portable phone? tablet? computer? Who do you/would you trust with the passwords, pins, puks, for the physical machines? Do you know how many online accounts do you have?  Who do you/would you trust with the passwords, security questions' answers, login names? If you were to die, what would happen to your digital legacy? Consider your e-commerce and banking  accounts, stored value accounts (Bitcoin wallet, PayPal),  social media, email, cloud-backup and gaming accounts, accounts containing your intellectual property (writing, ...

My IB Open – OCC Now Closed – Time for Sharing Resources

My IB Communities Just a reminder that the OCC is now closed, so time for all Design Technologists to head over to MyIB to connect with official IB Diploma resources for the Design Technology programme alongside access to Communities. The DT Forum group Communities are the forum elements of the new MyIB centre—where you can either create a new forum based around a subject or area of IB education or join another. At the moment there is only one forum set ...

Some Ideas for Thinking about World Literature

I've been poring over some materials I've used in workshops on 'Literature in Translation,' and thought it might be useful to share some of these resources and add in a frequent question about the Written Assignments. These articles are variable in their weightiness, but there are likely to at least be bits and pieces that you may find useful for deepening your own thinking or some ideas to explore in your classes. I like the following for its range of views ...

Why Cite?

I want to share an interesting research report with you, which I learned about from IB ÜberLibrarian John Royce's blog, Honesty, honestly... in a post titled WHYs before the event, posted on 6 November 2017. Royce introduces us to a paper by Allison Hosier (of the University of Albany, SUNY) published in the Communication in Information Literacy (CIL) Vol 9, No 2 (2015),  Teaching information literacy through “un-research” . In the Abstract, Hosier writes: Students who write essays on research topics in which no outside sources are ...

Are Memes Relevant to Studying Printed or Digital Texts?

The larger version of this question is really, 'do we need to have a good working knowledge of what memes are in order to usefully expand a sense of our audience, our IB students?  Does such knowledge have some relevance to such new textualities as fan fiction and texts published online using various composition strategies?' It's interesting that, in the last revision of the Language A courses,  various forms of digital texts were suggested as one of the options schools might ...